Why Remove the Baffles from a Motorcycle Exhaust?

In this article, we talk about why you should and shouldn’t remove the baffles from your motorcycle’s exhaust. 

Motorcycle riders have been removing baffles ever since manufacturers started putting baffles in the exhaust. There are claims of massive horsepower gains, deeper exhaust notes, and even better efficiency thanks to this minor mod that you can do in less than 15 minutes. 

So is there any truth to these claims? And should you remove the baffles from your motorcycle’s exhaust? We aim to answer all of these questions and more in this article. 

First, we must figure out what a baffle even is, what it does, and why it’s there in the first place. Then, we’ll talk about the benefits and drawbacks of removing baffles. 

So if you’re baffled as to why someone would remove the baffles from their motorcycle exhaust, keep reading. 

What Even Is A Baffle?

A baffle, put simply, is a component inside your motorcycle’s exhaust that essentially obstructs the flow of exhaust gasses. This makes the escaping gasses move slower. The result is a less noisy exhaust and a bit more backpressure. 

Baffles come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have pretty much the same basic function.

Why Motorcycle Manufacturers Install Baffles In Exhausts

Motorcycle manufacturers use exhaust baffles in their motorcycles to comply with regulations. These include regulations surrounding exhaust noise levels, emissions, etc. 

So now that we know what exhaust baffles are, let’s talk about why people like to remove them. As we mentioned before, baffles lower the noise levels of a motorcycle exhaust to comply with regulations. So the biggest reason for removing baffles is to get a louder, deeper exhaust note. 

In fact, if you want to get a louder sound from the exhaust and don’t have the budget to get a full system exhaust, removing the baffles can make a noticeable difference in how loud the exhaust is. 

Another reason some riders prefer to shed the baffles from their motorcycle exhausts is because doing so allows for a freer-flowing system. Will this give you an immediate power boost that completely changes how your bike feels? Probably not. 

But will the higher volume and deeper sound make you feel like you’re going faster? Heck yeah! 

Baffle Removal FAQs

Is removing exhaust baffles bad for my engine?

Well, not exactly. Removing baffles itself does little to affect your bike’s engine. That said, the higher exhaust flow could mess up your bike’s tune and cause it to run leaner. So maybe consider getting a tune, or an ECU remap if you remove your exhaust baffles. 

Does removing the exhaust baffles make my bike faster?

Removing exhaust baffles doesn’t really add any power to your engine. In fact, the removal of baffles could change the air-fuel ratio of your bike’s engine to the point that power goes down! But this difference will hardly be noticeable in day-to-day riding and can be remedied by the aforementioned tune. 

Does removing the exhaust baffles make my bike louder?

Yep. A louder exhaust note, and one of a different quality than stock, is one of the most noticeable effects of removing your exhaust baffles. 

Is removing exhaust baffles legal? 

In a word: yes. Exhausts are installed on bikes so that the bike complies with the regulations required to make it road legal. By removing the exhaust baffles, you make your motorcycle louder, probably louder than the legal limit. You also change up the way the bike handles exhaust gasses, possibly breaking some emissions regulations. 

That said, removing baffles has become so common among the motorcycle crowd that it is deemed totally normal. Still, it is always best to do your due diligence when making these types of changes to your motorcycle. Not to mention, the laws that surround emissions and noise regulations are region-specific. The legal reaction to removing exhaust baffles could range from complete indifference to a slap on the wrist to a hefty fine and jail time! 

So, to sum up, check local laws before removing the baffles on your motorcycle exhaust. 

Should I install baffles on my motorcycle?

Most every motorcycle comes with baffles in the exhaust from the factory. However, if you bought a used motorcycle, the previous owner may have removed the baffles in the exhaust. 

Thankfully, baffles are relatively inexpensive and don’t need much maintenance or fiddling around. 

Adding baffles to your motorcycle’s exhaust is a good idea if you find that the bike is too loud. This can be especially annoying if you use your bike for your daily commute. Furthermore, noise pollution is definitely an annoyance for other people. 

Another reason you might want to add baffles to your motorcycle exhaust is if your local laws require doing so. Better to have a quiet bike than no bike at all! 

How can I remove the baffles from my motorcycle’s exhaust?

The quick way: get it done professionally. 

The fun way: do it yourself!

Removing the baffles from your motorcycle exhaust is not rocket science. In fact, if you have a screwdriver, some wrenches, and a couple minutes to spare, you can get it done at home. Keep in mind that the process of removing baffles is different for different bikes, so maybe a YouTube video or two for your specific model could be helpful.

Hugo Alais

Hi, I'm Hugo, I'm a motorcycle enthusiast who’s been riding for the last 10 years. I'm passionate about all things motorcycles and started Bikes Future to help other riders make the right motorcycle moves. I ride a white Kawasaki Ninja 400. You can find out more about me and my experience with motorcycling here.